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Israel spyware targets mobile of EU lawmaker

Member of the European Parliament and head of Greece's opposition socialist PASOK-Movement for Change Party, Nikos Androulakis, was found to have been targeted by Israeli spyware, Haaretz revealed yesterday.

According to the Israeli daily, Androulakis' phone was found to have received a malicious link that could have infected his phone with the Israeli spyware known as Predator.


On the same day, Anadolu news agency reported that Androulakis had filed a complaint with the Greek Supreme Court claiming his phone was tapped during the party's leadership race last year.


A statement issued by the MEP's office stated that his mobile phone was scanned at a special service in the European Parliament where MEPs could check their phones for possible illegal surveillance.


"From the initial check made on the device, a suspicious link connected to the illegal Predator surveillance software was detected," the statement said.


It explained: "Predator is a spyware surveillance tool that gives its operator full and permanent access to the target's device."


Androulakis told journalists that he filed the complaint after he "was informed by the competent service of the European Parliament that an attempt has been made to trap my cellphone with the Predator spyware tracking programme."


He said, according to Anadolu, that he received a text message on his device on 21 September 2021, shortly before the start of internal party proceedings, inviting him to press a specific link that turned out to be associated with the spyware Predator that would have infected his phone.


The European Parliament began checking lawmakers' devices in the wake of the Pegasus spyware controversy when 50,000 phones were said to be on a target list globally.